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  • Chris Jones

Day 2.


An advantage with wild camping, you are always up and away early. I was up at 7.15, coffee brewing while I struck camp, packed and cleared up and on the trail for 8. It will get earlier as we move out of winter but while it's still dark and cold, I'm staying in my maggot... 😋 walked a couple of miles from Chapel and stopped for a back stretch and a brew at Anderby where I was met by our good friend and Social Media guru, Simon Noden and his dog Woody. Thanks for the company and the chat Woody, I know we had to have Simon along as he was driving you home... 🤪 I jest, Simon has been instrumental in helping me prepare for this challenge and I very much enjoyed your company mate.


After Simon left me, full steam ahead for Mablethorpe. Wandering along the promenade daydreaming with the surprisingly warm January sun on my back, a young lady out for a jog stopped running and walked along with me. We got chatting and I was amazed to learn she is a serving soldier in The Royal Engineers, currently based at Digby in Lincolnshire. We had a good chat about our both being members of that illustrious Corp, Once a Sapper, always a Sapper... 😎✊but, the conversation turned to her voluntary work with the RNLI and she explained the sad reality that there has been such a sharp rise in the numbers of suicides, by men finding themselves in that dark place where they see no other option but to walk into the sea to end it all.... 🥺 Obviously, something the brave men and women that volunteer for the RNLI have to deal with. Can I please say...

If you're reading this blog right now and you understand what it is to be in that dark place, maybe you've been at the bottom of that big black pit, perhaps you're there now, looking up but struggling to see any light... struggling to work out how you might be able to get out.

I implore you, please look up, focus more clearly and look harder, there is a face up there looking down, a hand stretching down to you to help you out. You just need to take their hand, let them help you. Your problems will be unique, just as you are unique but talk to that person that wants to help, help them to understand your pain and let them help you get out of that dark place. I pray you can then learn those skills that will stop you falling back in there again. Never stop looking up for that face, for that hand... please...

Thank you young lady Sapper, for taking the time to walk and chat with me, it was a pleasure meeting you. Hurrah for The CRE.


I soon arrived in Mablethorpe and was met by Mark who had kindly offered me a bed for the night. Mark cooked us an amazing meal of Roast Lamb with all the trimmings, I had a hot shower and we'd just settled down to relax with a coffee when I received a text from an unknown number... A group of Marks fellow Freemasons from Louth & Alford were waiting in the pub across the road and would be most upset if we didn't join them for a beverage... 🫣🍻

Thank you Mark, for your incredible hospitatlity and generosity, I arrived in Mabo to be greeted by fellow Mason, you welcomed me into your home and made me so very welcome, I left having gained a true friend. 😉🤝


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trevmitchell
trevmitchell
Jan 04, 2023

Morning Chris, like many others I'm just blown away by the magnitude of the task you've taken on but there again you've always been barking from the day I first met you at 219, so nothing changes eh? Just to reiterate what others have said about the sometimes constant companion of mine, the Black Dog. I, as someone mentioned played the strong macho man who didn't need meds, didn't need any help from anyone, only when PTSD was diagnosed I sought help and that was only because my late wife forcibly took me to the GP. So what I'm saying is don't try and 'deal with it' on your own there is help out there the army and the NHS go…

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trevmitchell
trevmitchell
Jan 07, 2023
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I will keep you informed and I'd be honored if you would be there for me.

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Richard Skeggs
Richard Skeggs
Jan 04, 2023

As your journey starts , many of us are just gob smacked with the sheer size of the challenge ahead. You have and will inspire many people and also raise a very large amount. It makes me proud and I'm sure every other mason who's following this or who has discovered this will be proud and honoured to have you as a brother. Keep strong , there will be tough days coming but good ones too. Every step you take is one closer to the finish line. We're all here for you , head up , focus , and solider on, a long journey ahead but you'll make this.

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Chris Jones
Jan 05, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Richard, very kind words. When the aches and pains recede, I’m sure I’m going to enjoy every step. Thanks for your support and for following the story. Best wishes, Chris. 😉

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tracybrown_5
Jan 04, 2023

What a great couple of days you’ve had, already met some interesting genuine people. Think this road trip is going to be great for you and lots of others.

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Chris Jones
Jan 05, 2023
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Thanks Tracy, you are so right. It is always the people you meet that can help turn a bad moment into a great experience. I’ve met a few crackers already and I’m sure they’ll be many more to come. I’ll keep you posted… Best wishes, Chris. 😉

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martin.goodwin
martin.goodwin
Jan 03, 2023

What a fantastic day you just had. May you have many more. 🙃🙃 On the serious point you are aware I too had been in the dark place. It's frightening and lonely. But it doesn't need to be either .... FFS talk to a friend, a relative, anyone... get guidance from a professional. Talk to your GP. If you get advised to take some meds to take the edge of the peaks ... BLOODY TAKE THEM. Don't be the big man who doesn't need anti-depressants. I took far too long to realise that one. Learn the skills to keep the Black Dog at bay.... and remember "It too shall pass". Please😐

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trevmitchell
trevmitchell
Jan 05, 2023
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Going to Sapperfest every year and meeting up with like minded loonies who understand what you are going through has helped me immensely, usually because they are experiencing the very same problems, and we all benefit from talking to each other, I was never aware that you had any issues last time I saw you at Jubilee Park you seemed your usual happy go lucky self but as you mentioned we all have our masks we wear. The same help you have had from your brotherhood, and I think as we all are aware sometimes just talking helps.

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